By 2000 everyone knew there was going to be a big correction. Few accurately imagined how big. It was like going to the doctors because you knew something was ‘a little off’ and finding out that you were going to die in three months. Then talking to all your friends and realizing that everyone you knew had the same disease.
Initially many thought it would be similar to the early 90s recession. I.E. A few layoffs with everyone getting hired back again two years later. It wasn’t until 2002 that people realized that springtime wasnt coming back.
It wasnt just places like pets.com that crashed. You had every single non-tech company simultaneously scaling back IT initiatives. At the time there was still a large cohort of management types who considered the Internet more of a fad than a new paradigm. These types took full advantage of the shifting winds to cut deeply into anything tech related. This broad overcorrection did a massive amount of damage to the industry.
You can still see the impact crater. Remember the big talent shortages during 2008-2012? Thats because you no longer had a cohort of mid career professionals to draw from. Only the thin number of people who survived the collapse and a bunch of novices who were just getting started. Everyone was missing that valuable group of mid career 8-12 years of experience etc… Basically a generation of careers strangled. Which is why you’ll often see no sympathy for the ‘talent shortage’ complaint. Five years after cutting everything and leaving people to starve you have the same cohort of managers demanding to know “where are all the people with five years of recent experience”